Important Information For Your Trip to the USA

General
Form of government: Presidential Federal Republic
Surface: 9.809 million km²
Capital city: Washington
Resident: 330 million inhabitants
Religion: 51 million Protestants
34 million Baptists
14 million Methodists

National nature
According to answerresume, the USA is divided into four diversely differentiated natural areas: the Appalachians, the Cordilleras, the central lowlands and the coastal plains on the Atlantic and on the Gulf of Mexico.

Population
Of the 323 million inhabitants, 234 million are white, 41 million are black, 29.5 million are Latin American, 15 million are Asian and around 3.6 million are indigenous Native Americans. The average population density is about 35 inhabitants per km².

Language
The official languages ​​are American English and (regional) Spanish.

Economy
Favored by the natural diversity, the rich deposits of raw materials and the climatic differentiation, the USA is one of the leading and particularly innovative countries in many areas of the economy. The economy of the USA is characterized by its strict market orientation and the strong concentration of production and services in large companies and corporations.

 

Time Zones:
Compared to Central European Standard Time (CET),
there are the following time differences in the USA :
Eastern standard time – 6 hours
Central Standard Time – 7 hours
Mountain standard time – 8 hours
Pacific Standard Time – 9 hours
Alaska Time – 10 hours
Hawaii time – 11 hours
New York – 5 hours (winter time) – 6 hours (summer time)
California – 8 hours (winter time) – 9 hours (summer time)


Daylight saving time
(“daylight savings program”), in most states of the USA (+1 hour), lasts from the first Sunday in April to the second to last Saturday in October. However, some states do not have Daylight Saving Time.

Note
The time is always specified with digits between 1 and 12. am = morning; pm = afternoon. In timetables, the time of day is often only differentiated by the font (bold type, etc.), please note the relevant explanations.

Mass and weight
Length measurements Areal dimensions
1 foot = 0.3048m 1 square yard = 0.836126 sqm
1 yard = 3 feet = 0.9144 m 1 acre (acre) = 4840 yards² = 4046.8 m²
1 mile = 1.6093km 1 square mile = 2.59 km²
Capacity Trade weights
1 pint = 0.4732L 1 ounce = 28.35g
1 quart (quarter) = 2 pints = 0.9464L 1 pound = 16 ounces = 453.59 g
1 gallon (gallon) = 4 quarts = 3.7853 liters


Temperatures
In the USA, temperatures are given in Fahrenheit and not in degrees Celsius:
F° = (C° x 1.8) + 32
C° = (F° – 32) x 5 : 9

Holidays
Offices and shops are closed on the following days: New Year’s Day (January 1), Martin Luther King Day (January 15), President’s Day (3rd Monday in February), Easter Monday, Memorial Day (last Monday in May) , Independence Day (July 4), Labor Day (1st Monday in September), Columbus Day (2nd Monday in October), Veteran’s Day (November 11), Thanksgiving (Last Thursday in November), Christmas Day (25th November) December).

Money Currency: 1 US dollar = 100 cents
All bills are exactly the same size. Newer banknotes can be distinguished from one another by their slight tint. With older bills, it was difficult to tell them apart, as they were all printed in the same black and green color combination. Bills come in denominations of $1, $2 (rare), $5, $10 (orange), $20 (green), $50 (purple), and $100 (teal). Coins come in denominations of 1 cent (penny), 5 cents (nickel), 10 cents (dime), 25 cents (quarter), 50 cents (half dollar – rare) and 1 dollar (buck).

Currency exchange
You should only take a small part of your travel budget with you in cash – smaller bills are ideal – so that you have money available immediately upon arrival. The rest is best paid with credit cards. On site you can withdraw money from ATMs with your local Maestro debit card (please make sure you have it activated for this in Europe). Changing foreign currencies in the US has become difficult and takes a lot of time.

Credit cards
The most common credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Diners, American Express) are accepted in almost all shops and hotels. It is customary not to pay cash, even for larger amounts. All hotels require an empty credit card imprint at check-in for expenses in the room (minibar, pay TV, etc.), otherwise a cash deposit is required (often up to USD 150). Some hotels do not rent rooms without a credit card deposit! Although North America is the home of credit cards, they are often not accepted, especially in remote regions.

Prices
The prices depend on the dollar exchange rate. When making purchases, it should be noted that the local sales tax is not included in the advertised prices, but is only added to the invoice. Some states do not collect a sales tax.

Climate and Clothing
The climate zones in the United States range from the frosty north to the sunny south. General tips for the right travel clothing are therefore not possible. It is advisable to look at the respective climate tables (see the individual articles on our website) to get an idea of ​​what temperatures to expect. The summer months are warm almost everywhere – but the coolest in Alaska, Oregon, Washington State and northern New England. In winter you need warm clothes almost everywhere, similar to those in Europe. The southern states are the most likely exceptions. But even in Florida and California, temperatures can drop to freezing point—and even below at higher elevations—between December and February.

Climate on the east coast
The climate differences between the individual states on the east coast of America are considerable. While the north struggles with ice and snow in winter, the south often has warm weather. In summer it is warm to hot everywhere, sometimes muggy. Hurricanes can occur in the south between June and November. Local newspapers and television provide detailed information about the weather. Note that in America, temperature is not measured in Celsius, but in Fahrenheit. Spring is the best time to visit Washington, DC, New York and the mid-South. In New England, on the other hand, autumn is particularly beautiful with its bright red-gold colored deciduous trees.

Climate in the American Southwest
The Southwest can be visited all year round. The different microclimate in the different regions is primarily determined by the respective altitude. Winters are cold and snowy in the high altitude areas of northern Arizona, New Mexico and southern Utah, making them perfect winter sport destinations. Warm, sunny winters attract thousands of visitors to the lower elevations of the southern regions. An example is Phoenix/Arizona, which has a pleasant average temperature of 21°C during the “cold” season, but is like an oven with an average of 37°C in July and August. Spring and autumn are ideal travel times here: the south-west is less crowded during these times, and the mild temperatures are particularly favorable for hiking or other outdoor activities. However, you may have to forego some highlights in the off-season. The North Rim of the Grand Canyon (in northern Arizona) is only open between May and October. Also, the peaks at the ancient Native American site of Mesa Verde in Colorado can be snowy until April or May, making them inaccessible. But whichever travel time you choose, the sun will almost certainly accompany you every day. After all, in the north of the region it shines on over 200 and in the more southern areas even over 300 days a year! But whichever travel time you choose, the sun will almost certainly accompany you every day. After all, in the north of the region it shines on over 200 and in the more southern areas even over 300 days a year! But whichever travel time you choose, the sun will almost certainly accompany you every day. After all, in the north of the region it shines on over 200 and in the more southern areas even over 300 days a year!

Travel clothing
We recommend comfortable clothing that is not too tight and light shoes for the flight. During the stay, casual clothing is sufficient, for going to the theater and for “celebratory” dinners, evening wear (suit, tie, costume, cocktail dress) is expected – tuxedo, etc. not necessary! Warmer clothes are needed for cool evenings and air-conditioned rooms. In winter you need a jacket or coat. Casual attire is appropriate in resorts. An umbrella is useful at any time of the year.

Important Information For Your Trip to the USA